c.1946 Montesa 125cc
Engine no. MM 5105
Montesa was founded in the mid-1940s in Barcelona by Pedro Permanyer and Francisco Bulto. The latter would leave the company in 1958 to found Bultaco but before then his engineering genius had bequeathed Montesa a range of popular two-stroke roadsters, the first of which, a single-cylinder, piston-ported model displacing 98cc, was first seen in production form at the Barcelona Show of June 1945. Before the year's end, the little Montesas had scored class wins in the '100cc' category and a 125cc version had been introduced. The following year the fledgling manufacturer took both the 100cc and 125cc titles in the Spanish national championships. Roadster production increased rapidly, the 125cc model proving so popular that the 98cc version was soon dropped. Montesa entered international road racing in the early 1950s using developments of its successful 125cc two-stroke single. There were some notable successes against better-funded rivals during the 1950s and '60s but the Spanish manufacturer's major impact on motorcycle sport would be away from the tarmac, its trials and moto-cross models being the equal of any of their contemporaries. An older restoration, this early Montesa roadster was purchased three years ago in Barcelona and is offered with Spanish registration papers.